KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An SUV involved in the death of a Missouri teenager outside a Somali community center had an anti-Muslim message displayed in the rear window at the time of the crash, Kansas City police confirmed Saturday.
Authorities say 34-year-old Ahmed H. Aden deliberately ran the boy over and have charged him with murder in a case that the FBI is investigating as a potential hate crime.
Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein died at a hospital Thursday evening after his legs were nearly severed in the crash. He was 15.
Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp told The Associated Press in an email that the SUV had been seen in the area by patrol officers in late October with a message that compared the Quran to the Ebola virus.
Aden was being held in the Jackson County jail on Saturday. No attorney was listed for him in online court records.
A funeral for the teen was scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City, a service that comes a day after dozens of friends and family members gathered for a prayer service where Sheikh-Hussein was remembered as kind and faithful.
Friends said Sheikh-Hussein had been going to play basketball when he was run down so violently that a witness reported seeing the teen “fly through the air” after he was hit, according to a probable cause statement.
Court documents said Aden crashed the SUV and got out of the vehicle with a knife. Witnesses told officers they followed Aden and pointed him out to police. One said the suspect swung what appeared to be a baseball bat at people, and another said Aden threatened them with a handgun as he tried to get away on foot.
Aden initially told authorities that he lost control of his vehicle and that there had been an accident. He later said he struck the teen because he thought the boy looked like someone who had threatened him several days earlier, the probable cause statement said.